A coalition comprising the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Transparency International (TI) in Nigeria, and Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ), have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate everyone implicated in the Pandora Papers.
Daily Trust reports that the ‘Pandora Papers’ are 11.9m leaked documents with 2.9 terabytes of data which the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ); and other media outlets across the world, commenced publishing beginning on 3 October 2021.
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Executive Director, CISLAC, Auwal Rafsanjani, at a news conference on Monday in Abuja, said the Pandora Papers is one of the biggest ever corruption leaks led by ICIJ and over 600 journalists from 117 countries, including journalists from Nigeria’s Premium Times.
He said that the Pandora Papers just like the Panama papers exposed systems and secrecy jurisdictions that enabled and abet crime, corruption, and illicit dealings by politicians, billionaires, influential individuals, and their enablers globally.
“Since its release on October 3, Nigerians have read in awe details of financial transactions and practices of politicians and influential individuals that exploit.
“In some cases, violate and undermine extant financial guidelines and policies and threaten our corporate existence and collective wellbeing.
“The Pandora Papers confirm the continuing weaknesses in the Nigerian financial systems and regulatory deficiencies that have been at the root of the annual loss of 18 billion dollars to illicit financial flows out of Nigeria, according to the latest estimate,” Rafsanjani said.
He noted that the Panama Papers and the Paradise papers exposure led to significant protests across the globe and the fall of governments, prosecution and dismissal of officials, criminal investigations, and asset confiscations.
He, however, lamented that this did not have a significant impact because the government did not act or do anything about the people exposed for corruption in the two separate papers then.
“The Nigerian Government only managed to constitute a Panama Papers committee, which never triggered any action or any impact.
“The Pandora papers release is coming when Nigeria is reeling under the deleterious impact of COVID-19 and the debt pileup that has continued to stoke serious concerns across political divides and among Nigerians and its development partners.
“It is a meaningful opportunity for the present administration to act decisively against corruption, aggressive tax planning, and other financial practices of politically exposed persons and their advisors and companies that threaten our country’s economic stability and corporate existence,” Rafsanjani said.
He, therefore, urged President Buhari, Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami and all anti-corruption agencies to immediately commence an investigation of everyone and their companies indicted in the reports.